Verification of date code presence on the packaging

Avoid unplanned production stops by verifying all dates after printing.

The “best before” or “use by” date are dates that have to be on all food products. The absence, bad quality dates lead to production of packages that are wasted if detected before shipping or result in consumer complaints when they reach point of sales. Moreover this can lead to a danger of consumer health. The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Fiducials Alignment in Electronics and Solar Industry

An easy vision solution that solves precise positioning applications

Screen printing machines for PCBs and solar cells need accurate positioning. Realignment is required each time the screen is replaced. On the screen, reference markers known as “fiducials” allow fine alignment with the cell/board. The fiducials are typically white circular dots with a 3-5 mm diameter. The position result should be communicated to the PLC in an Ethernet-based protocol. The solution should be easy to install, use and maintain, and should not require vision expertise.

Inspector from SICK is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package.  No programming is needed; just parameter setting of the predefined tasks. No vision expertise is required to setup the system. In any vision application the key is to get top-quality images. The screens present particular challenges. They are made of shiny metal. Reflections on the surface can appear like fiducials, causing false readings. SICK’s unique dome light is the solution to this challenge. It can be directly mounted on the Inspector to provide even light on the surface, free of unwanted reflections. Having an excellent image to work with, the powerful positioning algorithms in the Inspector can solve the application. The software tools can repeatability locate the fiducial below 5µm in a typical 10 x 10 mm field of view. The Inspector comes with comprehensive functions for production control, including image viewing, recording, and off-line support. Easy integration with the screen printer control system will ensure a flexible and fast screen replacement process, improving production yield and quality.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Solar wafer alignment and damage detection

Solar wafer alignment and damage detection

An easy vision solution that solves both detailed inspection and precise positioning applications.

Challenge
Wafer positioning and breakage detection are critical applications in the solar cell production process. To reduce cost and compete with traditional energy sources, the solar industry continually increases production speed and reduces wafer thickness. Vision systems are critical components in the high-speed production of brittle wafers. Wafer breakage can happen at any stage along the production process. Defects should be detected early. Wafer fragments on the production line often cause the subsequent breakage of good wafers.

Application Solution
The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package. No programming is needed, just some parameter setting of predefined tasks. No vision expertise is required to setup the system. The Inspector also includes a calibration feature that corrects lens and perspective distortion. It transforms the pixel coordinates into ready-to-use metric values. Calibration greatly simplifies commissioning and perspective correction allows greater flexibility in the camera placement. Having corrected image to work with the Inspector elegantly solves the application. A special version of the Inspector has been developed for the solar cell industry. There are special algorithms for the solar cell environment providing unmatched positioning accuracy and chip size detection in its category. The Inspector comes with comprehensive functions for production control, including image viewing, recording and off-line support. The Ethernet interface provides easy integration with the tool controls.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Detecting the end of a roll of labels

Challenge
Rolls of labels in the packaging industry are sometimes marked in color before the end of the roll is reached. A sensor is to detect this color marking and trigger a signal so that the roll can be changed immediately to save time. The rolls run at very high velocities and the marking is not always applied in the same place or in the same color, as the label format changes frequently.

Application Solution
This task is performed by the SICK CVS1 Easy Color Vision Sensor. With its wide light spot, this sensor reliably detects the color marking, even at a large scanning range, and triggers the signal. The device has up to 8 memories for colors such that on a roll change to different label formats, it is only necessary to teach the colors once at the start using teach-in. The CVS is therefore ideal for quick label changes.

Benefit
The large light spot and the scanning range ensure the signal is triggered reliably. As a result, time is saved due to the quick label change, less machine downtime and as a result money is saved.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Quality check of bottle caps

Avoid unplanned production stops by inspection every cap after capping

Caps of containers with liquid detergents have to be verified on correct capping. A cap that is not correctly placed on a container can lead to production issues downstream in the production. More over bad capping can lead to quality problems. A SICK vision sensor verifies the capping process.

Application Solution
The Inspector is an intelligent vision solution in an easy-to-use sensor package.

This is an application from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Inspecting labels at 400 parts/minute

A background suppression photoeye and a vision sensor team up with a Programmable Automation

Axon Styrotech, a leading provider of shrink wrapping and stretch sleeve machines, offers the Axon EZ-Seal 400sl shrink sleeve labeler for flexible, high-speed labeling. This machine, which can process up to 400 parts/min., can accommodate a wide range of container shapes and sizes.

To improve production rates during the labeling process, Axon has added the Inspector I10 Vision Sensor from SICK, Inc. to quickly and accurately inspect label positioning.“One reason for selecting this system is that it’s easy to program,” says Axon electrical engineer L.J. Elrod. “The software interface is well thought out and a great help menu is integrated into it. I have to think of it from the customer’s viewpoint. What’s going to work well for these guys that have never seen a vision system?” Inspection and rejection were accomplished on past Axon models, notes Elrod, by way of a UV sensor. But this requires a UV additive in the label material, an additive that carries an upcharge to the customer. So by integrating the I10 Inspection/Rejection system, Axon can help a customer cut label costs. The main controller on the EZ-Seal 400sl is a ControLogix from Rockwell. The inspection sequence is as follows. First a SICK WTB background suppression photoeye detects when a container is in place in the inspection system. It sends a signal to the I10 Vision Sensor to capture an image and process it to verify that it is within pre-set parameters. Mostly it’s checking that the label is properly centered on the container—not too high or too low. It also looks for any splice marks to verify that a bottle isn’t getting a label that includes a splice.

The signals sent from the WTB15 to the I10 Inspector are also delivered to the ControLogix PAC so that it can be verified that the signals were sent. It then becomes the job of the ControLogix controller to send a signal down to the reject mechanism to kick the container off the line if need be.

This is a success story from SICK.
Tri-Phase Automation is a SICK distributor in Wisconsin.
Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get A Quote

Label counting and print verification

Flawless label detection at 100 parts per second

Reconcile Engineering was faced with certain challenges from customers in the CD/DVD manufacturing sector and in the pharmaceutical sector. Challenge number 1 involved verifying that the right language is present on the printed packaging for CDs.

The second challenge involved the counting of complex pharmaceutical labels. The only solution for both applications was a vision sensor from Cognex whose intelligent part-finding sensor beat the competition hands down. According to Des Farrelly, Managing Director of Reconcile Engineering; “It would have been impossible to solve this label counting application without Cognex’s part-finding sensor.  With a successful counting rate of 100 labels a minute, we intend to include it as an option on our label counting machine from now on.”

Application Solution
Reconcile investigated the options available for this kind of inspection and tested it alongside competing systems and it was the only one to perform successfully. The part finding sensor proved very powerful in determining the text patterns printed on the CD boxes and as a result it was retrofitted onto the printing line by engineers from Reconcile. The installation was complete within 2 hours and even in this short time a mix-up successfully detected and rectified.

Benefit
The system was quickly installed and is now fully operational counting labels at a rate of 100 per second. The customer is fully satisfied – not only is it easy to use and very stable, but the counting speed is unprecedented.

Recommended Product:  Cognex In-Sight 2000

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin. We offer machine vision evaluations and technical support to help our customers solve their applications.

Quality in Manufacturing: Double Sheet Detection for Plastic Plate and Film Sheet

Double Sheet Detection

Cost effective processing of plastic plates and film sheets is very important in manufacturing print products. Quality requirements for high gloss products are very demanding. Even the smallest scratch on the surface or manufacturing steps that are not completely clean can result in waste. Plastic plates and film sheets are separated from a stack into individual units for further processing. Before the individual plastic plates or film sheets are cut to size, a check must determine that only one plate or sheet has been supplied. If not, the equipment can be damaged and the material will be unusable. Double sheet detection increases equipment life and minimizes material waste.

The Solution:
The Pepperl+Fuchs UDC-18GM-400-3E3 ultrasonic double sheet detector checks for the presence of an item before it reaches the blade. The presence of more than one unit, due to static electricity or other reason, triggers an alarm. The UDC-18GM-400-3E3 reliably identifies the presence of no sheet, single sheet, or double sheet, ensuring reliable, quality processing.

Double sheet detection has previously been triggered by a simple mechanical switch. Measurement that involves contact can mar the high-gloss plates or sheets. The change was made to no-contact ultrasonic detection to increase quality. Scratches are now a thing of the past. The Pepperl Fuchs UDC-18GM-400-3E3 ultrasonic double sheet detector is designed for a wide range of applications and is able to check all materials, from transparent film and thin film sheets to plastic plates 2 mm thick. For thicker media, such as sheet steel, the UDCM-30GM-085-3E3 ultrasonic double sheet detector is available.

Tri-Phase Automation is a distributor of Pepperl +Fuchs in Wisconsin. Contact Tri-Phase Sales or Get a Quote

So many labels, so little time.

An application success story from Cognex

OTE Group produce special hydrating, cleaning and lubricating fluids for the lens care market. As well as their own three product lines they deliver more than 100 private labels to customers with their own brands. Delivering the finished products all over the world, they need to be sure that all bottles reach their destinations in perfect condition and in good time.

When faced with the challenge of boosting their quality the company decided to use Cognex’s vision sensor to ensure that the production code is present and also to check if the label is on the bottle. Using it ensures that quality control is improved meaning better traceability and faster more reliable production. OTE Group maintain high quality standards conforming to ISO standards for filling and manufacturing and so they cannot afford to take chances.

Cognex’s sensor has given OTE peace of mind with a 100% reliable inspection of each bottle – both their codes and labels. Before this they relied on random sampling but this is not enough to satisfy the strict requirements of their customers from the medical and pharmaceutical industry.

Recommended Product: Cognex In-Sight 2000

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin. We offer evaluations and technical support to help our customers solve their applications.

Vision Sensors Error Proof Oil Cap Assembly

An application success story from Cognex

Supplying parts to the world’s leading automotive companies leaves no room for error. That’s why Miniature Precision Components Inc. (MPC) uses three vision sensors to error-proof the automated assembly of oil-caps.

After a demo, they chose  Cognex vision sensors because they include a simple, yet powerful graphical form of ladder logic that allows tying Cognex’s individual inspection sensors directly to outputs to easily solve more complex applications. “The small size, built-in lighting, variable working distance, ladder logic and free-running capability make these devices very simple to install. There was no need to wire them to a PLC, no need to install and wire trigger sensors, and the four-step set up makes it by far the easiest vision sensor that I’ve ever used,” says Champion. “Unlike with the vision systems that we’ve used in the past, I am able to set up the entire inspection in just a few minutes.”

Cognex’s vision sensors have helped us achieve zero-defect rates in the manufacturing process,” notes Harsha, “while lowering scrap. They are the perfect solution for many of our inspection and error-proofing applications.”

Recommended Product: Cognex In-Sight 2000

Tri-Phase Automation is a Cognex distributor in Wisconsin. We offer machine vision evaluations and technical support to help our customers solve their applications.